The Third Article Of Faith

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We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

What a great blessing that is, that if we simply hold to the laws of the gospel and live according to them, Christ in his power will redeem us from our sins. The atonement is the most significant event in the history of the world. Nothing can compare to this redeeming act. If not for the atonement we would have no hope of returning to live with God.

What is the atonement however and how does it effect us. Why doe we need the atonement in the first place.

The atonement is the ultimate sacrifice that only Christ could complete it. A Hymn of the church comes to mind that expresses the feelings behind the atonement of Christ. I Stand All Amazed

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

The atonement of Christ was not just his dying on the cross, but rather encompasses all that happened before that and after as well. Christ’s suffering the Garden of Gethsemane is crucial to the atonement. From the book of Mark in the holy bible we read in chapter 14

32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Christ willfully submitted himself to the will of the father, he suffered and felt despair so extensive that he bled from every pore. The book of Luke has this account in chapter 22

43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: band his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Christ in his agony, was in such agony that a angel from heaven was sent to strengthen him after he prayed to the father. Christ born of Mary and God, the only perfect one that ever lived needed an angel to strengthen him to complete the atonement, Christ a member of the Godhead suffered such agony that be bled from every pore. His suffering is unimaginable and so excruciating that the cross must of felt a relief from the pain and agony he endured in the garden. Christ’s sacrifice for us and suffered for us in the garden and on the cross. He willfully suffered the pains and sins of all that we might repent so that we can return to live with him. Because of this atonement all mankind has the opportunity to have eternal exaltation despite our weaknesses and faults. What a great blessing it is to have a savior to save us from our sins.

Russell M Nelson of the 12 apostles said in October 1996 general conference said “Paul said, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 14 The Atonement of Jesus Christ became the immortal creation. He volunteered to answer the ends of a law previously transgressed. 15 And by the shedding of His blood, His 16 and our physical bodies could become perfected. They could again function without blood, just as Adam’s and Eve’s did in their paradisiacal form. Paul taught that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; … this mortal must put on immortality.” 17 His Atonement is infinite—without an end. 29 It was also infinite in that all humankind would be saved from never-ending death. It was infinite in terms of His immense suffering. It was infinite in time, putting an end to the preceding prototype of animal sacrifice. It was infinite in scope—it was to be done once for all. 30 And the mercy of the Atonement extends not only to an infinite number of people, but also to an infinite number of worlds created by Him. 31 It was infinite beyond any human scale of measurement or mortal comprehension. Jesus was the only one who could offer such an infinite atonement, since He was born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father. Because of that unique birthright, Jesus was an infinite Being.”

Christs infinite atonement saves us from our sins and allows us to return to live with God again. He is our savior and redeemer. We all have sin and need to repent. We can not be saved however without obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. These laws are essential for our salvation. as Paul once said “faith without works are dead” we must follow and live the gospel, hold to it’s laws and embrace God’s truth for the atonement to have any application to us personally. If we reject the gospel and the atonement we do so at our own risk. The atonement brings salvation, the laws of the gospel provide a means to accept the atonement and our savior.
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